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After outrage over ad graffiti on Delhi heritage wall,Puma India apologises

The company said, all the stakeholders had also "aligned" that there was "need to raise awareness" among the owners about guidelines to preserve heritage properties.

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Puma deface Delhi heritage
facebook/Swapna Liddle

today apologised for defacing a precinct in old by spray painting a wall for an advertisement campaign, saying it was "unintentional" and a result of "lack of information".

The company said it had a meeting with body INTACH, civic authorities and the owner of one of the properties, and it was decided that the production company involved in the campaign would "restore the wall" to its original look.

The precinct falls in the area and the splashed on the wall made of lakhori bricks and limestone plaster had sparked outrage among conservationists and other experts.

"We are sorry that we have unintentionally hurt sentiments of people," Puma India, a subsidiary of firm Puma, said in a statement.

The company said post discussion, all the stakeholders had also "aligned" to the fact that there was "need to raise awareness" among the owners about guidelines to preserve properties.

"We are very proud of India's and would never like to compromise it in any way. Our using this building wall for our campaign shoot has been completely unintentional and clearly due to lack of information," a spokesperson said.

Convenor Swapna Liddle, who had highlighted the issue on social media this week, had earlier said she feared the paintings might cause "irreversible damage" to the 18th-century era structures.

An official spokesperson of Puma India, when contacted by PTI earlier, had said: "We believe all the required permissions were obtained to carry out the shoot. However, given the point raised we are investigating the matter."

Dubbed the 'Suede Gully', the three-minute-long video, shot over a month ago in multiple languages and four cities, is a creative endeavour that "captures the grit of Indian streets", the website said.

"It has been brought to our notice that a building wall used in our 'Suede Gully' video shoot is a site. As a part of the shoot, was done on the wall of the building by a local artist," the company said.

The appointed production house had "taken necessary written permissions" from the owner of this private property, it said.

Even during the shoot, which happened on September 24, the teams involved did not know about the status of the building, it said.

After the shoot, the production house offered to "restore the look of the wall to its original colour", but the owner refused because he "felt that the art had made his wall cleaner and livelier", said.

It said it had advised its creative agency to ask the appointed production house to do "whatever it takes to restore the wall to its original look-and-feel".

"They are coordinating with the owner of the building with regard to the same," the statement said.

Conservationist had said on Tuesday the issue highlighted the need for more efficient laws.

"The case points out that more awareness is needed to help people and big companies understand what constitutes heritage," he had said.

First Published: Fri, November 17 2017. 10:07 IST